A comforting clam and sausage mix that combines both sweet and dry white wine
4dozen littleneck clams, cleaned and scrubbed
2sweet Italian sausages (about 10oz), casing removed and meat separated into small pieces
1medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4celery stalks, finely chopped
1/2of small fennel bulb, thinly sliced (optional)
5small garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2cups dry white wine
3/4cup sweet white wine, such as Muscat
10large fresh tarragon leaves
1/2cup heavy cream
1tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
1/4cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, until soft, for about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, celery and fennel and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the sausage meat and cook for another 5 minutes, until the meat is nicely browned.
Add the wine (both dry and sweet) and bring to boil. Add the tarragon.
Add the clams, cover with a lid and cook, shaking the saucepan from time to time, until the clams are open, for about 6 minutes.
Add the heavy cream, gently shake the saucepan to mix, and simmer over low heat uncovered, for another 2-3 minutes.
Spoon the clams into bowls or soup plates. Stir the parsley into the broth, season with pepper and then pour over the clams. Serve with fresh bread.